Kiwis halfback Kieran Foran has paid tribute to young Manly clubmate Jason Annear, who was found dead at the bottom of a cliff on Sunday.
The circumstances of Annear's death are still being investigated. His body was discovered at the base of the headland separating Queenscliff and Freshwater beaches just before 7pm Sunday evening. It is believed he had fallen while making his way from the club's end of season function on Friday night.
"He will be sorely missed," Foran said.
"He was a terrific member of the group. He was a talented footballer. He was on standby [for the NRL team] this year, so he had a promising future. He was probably going to go on and do some good things in the game. And he was a top bloke.
"It's a really sad moment for the club."
Annear's sudden death had had a profound effect on Foran, but he was doing his best to focus on the job he had to do for the Kiwis on Saturday night against the Kangaroos.
"When I found out on Monday I was in shock. I was lost for words. I felt pretty sick to be honest. But at the end of the day there is not much I can do when I up here [in Townsville].
I've had to put it behind me now and just move forward. I'm 100 per cent focused on getting the job done Saturday night."